The gross looking ball of yuck up above is 1 lb. of fat. Everyone wants to get rid of their fat, but the truth is, you could never get rid of all of it. Nor would you want to! In fact, fat is so essential to our health that an average size 10, slim female carries approximately 100,000 calories of fat on her body.

So what’s in a pound of fat? 3,500 calories. It might surprise you what it would take to “burn” those calories through exercise. Let’s say you’re an average male, weighing about 180 lbs. If you run at 6mph (a 10 minute mile) it would take you over 4 hours to burn off a pound of fat! Cycling would take you just as long – over 4 hours. If you want to walk it off, it would take more than 3 times that long – 13 hours AND you’d end up walking about 39 miles. If you prefer yoga, your workout would have to be over 17 hours long!

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What does it take to consume 3,500 calories? Not much, it turns out. According to My Fitness Pal’s food calculator, just 1 large french fry from McDonalds every day of the week will do it! At 500 calories per serving, those calories add up fast. Fresh fruits and vegetables don’t have nearly as many calories. To eat just 500 calories of carrots (or strawberries if you’re more a fruit person) you’d have to eat nearly 10 cups of the stuff – that’s more than half a gallon!

You can lose weight by eating right, and reducing your calorie intake. Exercise and strength training can help burn calories and build muscle mass. Did you know muscle and fat both burn calories during the day? The catch is that 1 lb. of muscle burns 7-10 calories compared to the 2-3 calories burned by fat.

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